This post is about making a three dimensional conservation storage mount from Fosshape 600 (polyester) for a rare folk dance bonnet made from paper. This is an example of preventive methods of collection care and storage that compliment interventive/remedial treatments of costumes and accessories.

The unusual feature of this bonnet is its peaked crown, made from gold coloured paper (metal finish) with embossed design.  The paper was in very poor condition caused by wear and also due to the bonnet being previously stored flat. The silk ribbons at the back of the neck were fragmentary, the silk was splitting and falling apart.

Historic context: The bonnet is part of a costume associated with the revival of folk dance in Give area of Jutland, Denmark, in the first quarter of the 20th century (Give-Egnens Museum Collection).

c. 1905. Renewed crown, recycling of materials? A layer of paper, with gold metal finish and embossed design similar to that of the crown, can be seen through the splits in the crown and along the neck line of the bonnet’s interior. Its presence suggests that the bonnet had been previously renewed by recovering the crown when the paper got worn out. The construction and condition of the associated costume suggest the costume was made by recycling every day garments. The skirt, belt and vest are simply and crudely made from un-matching materials and show a lot of wear.

Conservation treatment focused on improving the condition of the bonnet overall, its longevity and accessibility. This included designing and making of a new storage mount, followed by the interventive treatment of silk ribbons (structural support and infill of areas of loss). The storage mount will provide a support for the paper crown and reduce the need to repair the paper. The decision whether the paper crown needs any further treatment will be reviewed after the completion of the mount and treatment of silk ribbons.

New storage mount was made from Fosshape 600 (polyester) steamed to shape over a commercial polystyrene head, that was cut and filed to size. The Fosshape mount was then padded to the shape of the bonnet (polyester wadding) and covered with cotton jersey, all hand stitched. The mount is attached to a mounting board (acid free card, cotton domette, down proof cotton, hand stitched), and made to fit one of the ready-made boxes purchased by the museum, with one wall of the box was adjusted to receive the mount.

Acknowledgements: Images and text of this post are from the conservation treatment report for a bonnet from the collection of the Give-Egnens Museum, Jutland, Denmark, work carried out at the Conservation Centre Vejle, Denmark.

Other posts on mount making: